Is there any other way get comps besides using a Realtor or having access to MLS?
You can use services like Sitexdata.com or RealQuest, but I’d make sure they are accurate for your area first.
The best way to get comps is to actually learn your market. If you invest in your local area, you should look at enough houses (inside and out) in your area to KNOW the market. I have looked at hundreds of houses and I know the values better than any appraiser or realtor. To do less would be irresponsible, since this is my business and my income (your business and your income). Comps and appraisals can be slanted based upon the motivation of the realtor or appriaser. Have you ever noticed that appraisals come in at almost exactly the amount of the loan needed? Coincidence? I don’t think so. In my opinion, appraisals are the biggest sham going. The appraiser knows the amount of the proposed loan and makes the appraisal say what is needed. If the appraiser consistently comes in low, the bank will find another appraiser. It’s a big joke!
The same is true with realtors. Realtors know that sellers want to hear a big number if they are to get the listing. So, they find high comps that give the seller the number they want to hear. Investors will often provide low comps to banks when they want to do a short sale or REO. Again, it’s a big joke.
My advice is to learn your market and say goodbye to comps and appraisals.